Slackware stuff

A faster Slackware

With Slackware 13.37 just around the corner, I will look at ways to speed up the boot process. This is work in progress.

Find bottlenecks

The classical way of boot-time analysis is bootchart. It has a ridiculous depency on Apache Ant, but who cares. I've got it installed already, but not working yet. (Possibly just a target directory matter.) Be careful, though, I seem to recall it didn't recognize the end of the startup process properly last time I tried it (5 years ago?), possibly because Slackware's X runlevel is 4, not 5.

A faster shell

Take a look at this:
[0 1051 10:56:46] ~ % ls -l /bin/*sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 109680 2010-04-26 03:07 /bin/ash
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 794864 2010-05-15 20:12 /bin/bash
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  84136 2011-04-16 17:58 /bin/dash
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 977876 2007-04-16 01:32 /bin/ksh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 317860 2007-03-31 01:56 /bin/tcsh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 542216 2009-07-16 02:22 /bin/zsh
[0 1052 10:56:53] ~ %
There's quite a bit of calling new scripts explicitly around in etc/rc.d. If we can get around bash-isms, using dash will be worth it. (This is the standard sbo dash.)

A custom kernel

I don't need JFS drivers, nor bluetooth support, etc pp. Having some of the stuff you need linked statically into the kernel is good, not having the stuff I don't need is good.

Parallelizing the big way

Upstart. That'll keep me occupied for a bit.

Bits and bobs

Stuff that might make sense, but I haven't tried them: